VIDEO The Beatitudes Remarkable & Profound Expansion & Explanation

Jul 6, 2016

This is the introduction to the Beatitudes video series, which is an expansion and fleshing out of the Beatitudes (from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount). The Beatitudes are the famous words of Jesus from His Sermon on the Mount given in Matthew 5:1-12.

Someone sent me an amazing expansion of the Beatitudes (from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount). There have been innumerable (and many famous) interpretations, expansions, and dramatizations of the Gospels, such as The Robe, Ben Hur, The Spear, The Great Fisherman, The Silver Chalice, many TV series, many movies, and even Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (one of the highest grossing R-rated films in history) drew from multiple sources.

However, this interpretation/expansion/fleshing out of the Beatitudes is the best I have heard yet and it is remarkable. I hope you enjoy it! Please share this with anyone you think might enjoy this or might find some degree of benefit or inspiration from it.

Our Powerful God

[He] who creates the wind, . . . the Lord God Almighty is his name. Amos 4:13

One day by the seaside, I delighted in watching some kite surfers as they bounced along the water, moved by the force of the wind. When one came to shore, I asked him if the experience was as difficult as it looked. “No,” he said, “It’s actually easier than regular surfing because you harness the power of the wind.”

Afterward as I walked by the sea, thinking about the wind’s ability not only to propel the surfers but also to whip my hair into my face, I paused to wonder at our God the Creator. As we see in the Old Testament book of Amos, He who “forms the mountains” and “creates the wind” can turn “dawn to darkness” (v. 13).

God through His love created the world. Praise Him!

Through this prophet, the Lord reminded His people of His power as He called them back to Himself. Because they had not obeyed Him, He said He would reveal Himself to them (v. 13). Although we see His judgment here, we know from elsewhere in the Bible of His sacrificial love in sending His Son to save us (see John 3:16).

The power of the wind on this breezy day in the South of England reminded me of the sheer immensity of the Lord. If you feel the wind today, why not stop and ponder our all-powerful God?

Father, thank You for Your power and love. Help us to daily rely on You.

God through His love created the world. Praise Him!

By Amy Boucher Pye 

INSIGHT

The Bible uses many metaphors to describe God and His work in our lives: For example, God is a “shepherd” (Ps. 23:1; Isa. 40:11), a “rock” (Gen. 49:24), a “consuming fire” (Deut. 4:24), and a “spring of living water” (Jer. 2:13). But at the dawn of creation, God was likened to a powerful wind. Genesis 1:2 says “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” The Hebrew word rendered “Spirit” in this verse means “wind.” We can’t see the wind, but we can feel the coolness of a gentle breeze and witness the raw power of a violent tornado uprooting trees and destroying everything in its path. The wind pictures for us God’s invisible presence, His sovereign will, His awesome power, and His mysterious ways. Jesus spoke of this same power of the Spirit of God at work in transforming our lives: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).

As you reflect on our powerful God, how does your heart respond?

Sim Kay Tee

Heirs to a Grand Inheritance

Ephesians 1:9-14

Did you know that you are an heir to unimaginable wealth that will never fade away? If you’re a believer, then God has an inheritance reserved for you in heaven. In fact, He says you have already obtained it. (See Eph. 1:11.) Your right to this treasure is not based on anything that you’ve done, but on the one to whom you belong. If you are a child of God, then the inheritance is yours and will be “revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:4-5).

No one can take our inheritance from us, because God has guaranteed it by sealing us with His Holy Spirit of promise. The transaction is complete and merely awaits the ultimate consummation when everything will be brought under the headship of Christ. This seal shows His ownership and authority over us, and one day our full redemption will come.

Naturally, we all want to know what we’re going to inherit. Much of that is beyond our earthly comprehension, but Scripture gives us a few hints. It will involve the transformation of both our body and soul. The goal for which God predestined us will be completed as we stand before Him, conformed to the likeness of His Son (Rom. 8:29; 1 John 3:2). And these weak, perishable bodies will be changed into strong, glorious ones that are free from sin and death (Phil. 3:20-21).

Why has God done all of this for us? Amazingly, He says it’s so that throughout eternity He can show us “the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7). In love and gratitude for such amazing goodness, let’s devote each day of our life to living for Him.

Conformity

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29)

One of the greatest dangers facing Christians is the temptation to become conformed to the things of the world around them, thus destroying their testimony for the Lord. We are specifically commanded, in fact, “Be not conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2). One cannot serve two masters, and the great privilege of the believer is the privilege of becoming conformed, not to a dying world, but to the living Christ.

But first we must be conformed to His death, dying to the world and its standards. The greatest desire of the apostle Paul was to “win Christ. . . . That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:8, 10).

Death is far from the end, however. When Christ returns, He “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). In this verse, the Greek for “fashioned like” is the same as “conformed to.” These corruptible, dying bodies we now live in will one day be changed. As Christ rose from the dead, we also shall rise, and our bodies, like His, will be alive forevermore.

Even that wonderful prospect is not the best of it, however. Not only will our bodies be incorruptible like His, but we shall be like Him—like Him in holiness, like Him in love, like Him in wisdom. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him” (1 John 3:2). In the words of our text, we are actually predestined to be conformed to the very image of the Son of God! HMM

Our God is a consuming fire

2 Kings 1:2-13, 15-17

We now return to the history of the kingdom of Israel.

2 Kings 1:2

And Ahaziah the son of Ahab

2 Kings 1:2

Shame that an Israelite should go to the Philistines for a deity, and leave the God of heaven for the god of flies.

2 Kings 1:3, 4

His appearance was abrupt and his departure sudden. How astonished must the messengers of Ahaziah have been to meet with a man who knew their business, and gave them an answer to a question which they had never mentioned to him.

2 Kings 1:5-8

Then, like a true son of Jezebel, he resolved to slay Elijah, reckoning that he would never rest so long as the troublesome prophet survived.

2 Kings 1:9, 10

We have to deal with another and gentler prophet who rebuked his disciples when they spoke of calling down fire from heaven upon his enemies. Elijah, under a different dispensation, met the wrath of a king by a calm act of faith, and the band who came to take him lay dead at his feet.

2 Kings 1:11

He was more peremptory than the first, and would have the prophet hasten to surrender. He thus courted destruction.

2 Kings 1:13

This captain was wise, and being forced to perform a dangerous task, cast himself on the prophet’s mercy. Humility turns aside the sword of vengeance. It is well to be lowly before the Lord.

2 Kings 1:15

Boldly he entered the gates of Samaria, and passed into the royal palace, fearless of Jezebel: the Lord put such dignity upon his servant that no man laid hands upon him.

 

The Great Restrainer!

2 Thessalonians 2:6-8

If Satan has been waiting to introduce the antichrist to the world, what is stopping him from allowing this evil leader to step onto the platform of the world stage right now? Why is it taking so long for the devil to finally bring this man to public attention?

Paul answered this question when he wrote Second Thessalonians 2:6-8. He said, “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”

Notice that Paul says, “And now ye know….” In the Greek, the sentence could be better translated, “Now, since I have already told you all these things, you ought to already know….” This is important, for it tells us that Paul had already informed the Thessalonian believers about events that would occur in the last days.

Paul had only spent a mere matter of months with the Thessalonian church; we can therefore see from this passage of Scripture the importance he attached to their ability to understand end-time events. In the short time Paul was with the Thessalonian believers, he had instructed them so well on the events of the last days that he could now tell them, “Since I have already told you all these things, you ought to already know….”

Let me ask you this: If Paul used part of his brief stay with the Thessalonian church to teach them about the events that would occur in the last days, doesn’t this tell us that our understanding of this subject should be a very high priority? We can’t shut our eyes to these truths of Scripture. If Paul considered this theme so important that he would introduce it to a group of new believers, how much more do we who are seasoned believers need to grasp what the Bible teaches about the last days?

Paul told the Thessalonian believers that a Force “withholdeth” the antichrist from being revealed. Although the Greek doesn’t specifically state the identity of the restraining Force in this verse, it seems to suggest that Paul is referring to the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.

Think of it—what if the power of the Spirit of God was suddenly withdrawn or removed from the earth? It would be only a brief matter of time before the devil quickly consummated his dream of world domination. You see, the Holy Spirit is the Great Restrainer, and He is holding back this evil from coming to pass in the world today.

The King James Version uses the word “withholdeth” to describe this restraining work of the Spirit. In Greek, it is the word katecho and carries the idea of holding something down or suppressing something. It is clear that this is an evil so horrendous that it must be held down, held back, or suppressed lest it be loosed to release a wide range of wicked effects. The supernatural Force Paul refers to is stalling, delaying, and postponing the evil that is craving to be fully released and set into operation.

Peter tells us why the Spirit of God is stalling, delaying, and postponing this dreadful time at the end of the age. In Second Peter 3:9, he says that God is “… not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” God is holding back the ultimate day of evil to give unbelievers more time to come to Him in repentance. But a day is soon coming when the Great Restrainer will “… be taken out of the way” (2 Thessalonians 2:7).

When this day comes, the hindering Power that has continuously delayed the worldwide domination of evil and lawlessness will be removed. It will be as though He is suddenly lifted out of the middle of everything. At that moment, the evil forces that have long been suppressed will suddenly be freed, and their wicked plans, purposes, and desires will be abruptly energized. When the supernatural hindering Force is removed, these events will quickly come to pass with no hesitation, for the Restrainer will be out of the picture.

Once the Restrainer is gone, the antichrist will “be revealed.” The word “revealed” is the word apokalupto. The Greek word apo means away, and the word kalupto refers to something that is veiled, covered, concealed, or hidden. When these two words are compounded, they form the word apokalupto, which depicts a veil that has been removed, exposing what is behind the veil that was previously concealed or hidden from view. When the Holy Spirit’s restraining power has been withdrawn, there will no longer be any force present to hold back the evil forces. Therefore, this evil leader who has been concealed and hidden from public view will suddenly “appear.” In that moment, it will seem as if a stage curtain has been pulled out of the way so that he can make his grand appearance to the world.

 

Taking all these Greek words into consideration, an interpretive translation of Second Thessalonians 2:6-8 could read this way:

“Now in light of everything I’ve told you before, you ought to be well aware by now that there is a supernatural Force at work, preventing the materialization of this person and the disclosure of his identity.

“This restraining Force I’m referring to is so strong that it is currently putting on the brakes and holding back the unveiling of this wicked person, stalling and postponing his manifestation. But when the right moment comes, this evil one will no longer be withheld, and he will emerge on the world scene! The screen that has been hiding his true identity and guarding him from world view will suddenly be pulled back and evaporate—and he will step out on center stage to let everyone know who he is.

“These events have been covertly in the making for a long time, but the world doesn’t realize that a secret plan is being executed right under their own noses. The only thing that has kept this plan from already being consummated is the supernatural Force that has been holding it all back until now.

“But one day this Force will be removed from the picture—and when that happens, these events will quickly transpire. The removal of this restraining Force will signal the moment when the Lawless One will finally make his grand appearance to the world….”

Can you image how quickly evil would take over the world if the Spirit of God stopped restraining the presence of evil? Because God is holding back this force of evil to give men more time to repent, we are still living in a period of grace when men can call on the name of the Lord and be saved. We are truly living in a season of grace that God is extending to the world just before the worst evil in human history is manifested on the earth.

If you haven’t been spending much time in prayer for your unsaved friends and loved ones, why don’t you start making it a high priority today to pray for their salvation? Right now God is holding back evil so that your friends—and all mankind—may have one last opportunity to come to Him in repentance before the end of the age is consummated and all the prophecies of the Bible are fulfilled.

Which of your friends need to be saved? How often do you pray for them? What are you doing to ensure that they have an opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ? If you possess the answers they need but don’t share those answers with them, how do you think you will feel when you stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ?

If you do your best to introduce your loved ones to Jesus but they refuse to listen, at least your heart will be free of guilt on that day when you stand before Jesus. So why don’t you begin to pray for them today? And while you’re in that place of prayer, ask the Holy Spirit to give you another chance to share the Gospel with those whom you know and love!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I thank You for holding back the evil forces that want to manifest in the world today. It’s hard to imagine what the world would be like if Your Spirit no longer suppressed the evil in the hearts of men. I thank You for working in the world today, and I thank You for giving my friends, family, associates, and acquaintances one last chance to come to You. Please help me recognize divinely appointed moments when I can present the Gospel to those who are near me. And I ask You to help me formulate my words so they can understand what I am communicating to them. Holy Spirit, as I speak to people, I ask You to do the work of conviction in their hearts so they will have a desire to believe and to repent.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that I am sensitive to opportunities that God gives me to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don’t have a spirit of fear about witnessing. Because the power of the Holy Spirit lives inside me, I am brave, bold, and courageous when it comes to telling the Good News of Jesus Christ. People need the Gospel—and that means they need to hear what I have to tell them. When I speak, God’s Spirit anoints me and people listen. As a result of my obedience, I am being used by God to bring many people to salvation in these last days!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Who are the unbelieving family members, friends, associates, or acquaintances you are most concerned about? Have you ever put them on a prayer list to help remind you to pray for their salvation every day?
  2. Before you were saved, did anyone pray regularly for your salvation? Who was that person? After you came to the Lord, didn’t it make you thankful that someone cared enough to pray for you? Have you ever taken the time to thank that person for making your salvation a high priority in his or her prayer time?
  3. Is there someone you are going to see today who might be open if you shared the Good News that Jesus died for him or her? Who is that person?

 

I’m Gonna Be Like You, Dad

While I was growing up, Dad only showed up once at any of my school or extracurricular activities. I was in the 8th grade, playing first on a baseball team. There was Dad in the stands! Boy, was I excited! After the game, his one comment to me was, “You should be pitching, not playing first base. Thats where the leadership is!

 

In reflecting back, I am reminded of the lyrics to “Cats in the Cradle“:

 

“A child arrived just the other day. He came to the world in the usual way. But there were planes to catch and bills to pay. He learned to walk while I was away. And he was talkin’ ‘fore I knew it and as he grew he said, ‘I’m gonna be like you, Dad, you know I’m gonna be like you.’

 

“My child turned ten just the other day. He said, ‘Thanks for the ball, Dad, c’mon let’s play. Can you teach me to throw?’ I said, ‘Not today, I got a lot to do.’ He said, ‘That’s OK.’ And he, he walked away, but his smile never dimmed. He said, ‘I’m gonna be like him, yeah you know I’m gonna be like him.’

 

“He came from college just the other day, so much like a man I just had to say, ‘Son, I’m proud of you, can you sit for awhile?’ He shook his head and said with a smile, ‘What I’d really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys, see ya later, can I have them please?’

 

“I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away. I called him just the other day. I said, ‘I’d like to see you if you don’t mind.’ He said, ‘I’d love to, Dad if I could find the time. You see, the new job’s a hassle and the kids have the flu, but it’s sure nice talkin’ to you, Dad. It’s been sure nice talkin’ to you.’ And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me, he’d grown up just like me. My boy was just like me… ‘When you comin’ home, son?’ ‘I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, Dad. You know we’ll have a good time then, then.'”

 

Last week, after our son called that his wife, Jeanna was having contractions, I drove 9 hours to be there as soon as possible for the birth of their first child. Ruth, away on a trip, flew 3,500 miles to get there. What a joyful time it was, celebrating that remarkable experience with them! After returning home, I received this note from Jeanna,

 

“Your presence here has been so marvelous for me. Your tenderness, support and prayers mean so much to me. Our little Hayden is so blessed to have you for a grandpa. And I am richly blessed to be your daughter-in-law. Thank you for showing how much you love me. I love you, Jeanna.”

 

And this message from our son, Wes:

 

“Dad, it has been very special to have you be part of our Hayden’s birth experience. It was great that you were here 5 hours after his birth! I love you and admire you so very much… Wes”

 

QUESTION: Dad, judging by your current investment into the lives of your clan, are you pleased with the reality that some day they are in fact “gonna be just like you“?

 

 

%d bloggers like this: